Rabz’ Radio Show August 2022: Dub, Ska and Reggae

Not claiming to be an aficionado of any of these genres, Cats. The ol’ saying, “I don’t know what I like but I do when I hear it” applies here.

Dub – a very idiosyncratic genre. However, there be giants. Lee “Scratch” Perry, King Tubby and the Mad Perfesser, among others. After absolutely loving UB40’s Signing Off and Present Arms as a yoof, to subsequently experience Present Arms in Dub was a somewhat perplexing experience. Dub involving of course, much manipulation of instruments and sounds, in an often seemingly random and discordant fashion. Best enjoyed (presumably) after inhaling a certain ‘erb, Mon.

Ska – In many ways, the precursor of Reggae. Originated in the Caribbean Isle of Jamaica in the sixties, fusing particular musical styles. It experienced its most notable period of popularity courtesy of the 2 Tone record label releases in the hectic New Wave period of music of the late seventies and early eighties. Some of my favourite bands were purveyors of this style, the most notable being the (British) Beat. Yoof subculture fans of Ska back in the day were known as Rude Boys and Girls and tended to dress in mod inspired monochrome fashions.

Reggae – The best known of the three variants, courtesy of a certain Bob Marley. Came to prominence in the aftermath of the Rocksteady style. The term Rocksteady features in one of my favourite Madness tunes. Reggae itself is an immediately recognisable genre, characterised by offbeat rhythms and the use of offsetting staccato chords. Other prominent (and not so prominent) Reggae artists include Jimmy Cliff, Horace Andy (who would later gain a wider audience courtesy of Massive Attack), Keith Hudson, and Desmond Dekker. The Clash and the Police were also influenced by Reggae – see the latter’s album “Reggatta de Blanc”, for example, while two of my other favourite bands are Madness and the Specials, who were exemplars of certain styles identified above.

Now comes the hard part, choosing two songs. Here they are. Please assist to broaden our Reggae horizons by posting your favourite tunes here.

Baggy Trousers

Sea of Love

Honourable mention – BB Seaton, “Thin Line Between Love and Hate”.

Enjoy, Cats!

61 thoughts on “Rabz’ Radio Show August 2022: Dub, Ska and Reggae”

  1. Hey that worked!
    I’m getting a plague of 500 errors.
    The Cat doesn’t like 10 cc.

  2. Dub came from reggae. It’s fun to pick the changes in rhythm. Here’s a dub track which went well mainstream:

    Portishead – Glory Box (1994)

    Tracks from that album like Strangers and Numb are dubbier. Much more spiky than reggae but the rhythmic relationship is clear as crystal.

  3. The Clash and the Police were also influenced by Reggae

    Yeah, a strange partnership, punk and reggae. Perhaps they both were playing to the same target audience. The Clash played various genres on their third album, London Calling, but they were playing reggae from the beginning. Here’s the Clash from their first album:

    Police and Thieves.

  4. flute reggae fusion

    That was cool! Like if Bob Marley did a track with Jethro Tull.

  5. UB 40 turned this Neil Diamond song into a reggae hit. Neil liked it so much, that when he played the Hunter Valley a few years ago (2017?), he played the UB 40 version.

    Red Red Wine

  6. Good old movie which is as rough as guts but a real slice of Jamaica

    Jimmy Cliff
    The harder they come.
    Whole movie is on YouTube

    Stupid phone won’t paste links

  7. Rabz – That’s fun. Listening to the first 20 seconds of Don’t Move is creepily like the first 20 seconds of Butterfly Effect. Really interesting the parallels.

  8. Rabz – I’ve a couple of Massive Attack albums somewhere, which I should listen to again. Marvelous stuff. Especially like Karmacoma for some reason I have no understanding of. Very dubbish.

    Massive Attack – Karmacoma (1995)

    Karmacoma, jamaica’ aroma…

  9. Man, that’s opened my eyes Bruce. I thought that Lamb were a one-hit wonder off a remix of B-Line, and were toomuch soundalike to Beth Gibbons

  10. Bruce. I thought that Lamb were a one-hit wonder

    They’re an interesting pair. Just been checking out their channel myself, and found this nice solo effort from Lou, who is the lady Lamb.

    LOU RHODES – The Rain (2007)

    Much more mainstream than their usual stuff. Catchy.

  11. This music is rubbish. I hate all of it.

    Gee, thanks for that positive contribution, you irredeemable imbecile.


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